A very happy Independence Day to all of my blogging friends and neighbors. If you have been following my blog for any length of time you have read about my Dad and his battle with cancer.
Last Friday evening, we lost a great Patriot. My Dad passed away peacefully with my Mom by his side. My Mom had told us that next to my Dad’s love for his family, was his love for his country, and everything our freedoms stand for.
I distinctly remember when I was a little girl that I idolized my Dad. He has always been my hero, now and forever more. The pedestal I put him upon was so incredibly high, because I respected him so very much. He was always helpful, ever so caring, and hopelessly in love with my Mom. They were the sweetest couple ever.
My Dad was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, father-in-law, and son-in-law. He never gave up on his battle with cancer, and in the end it was a complication with his liver that he did not have the strength to battle back from. Words alone cannot properly express how extremely hard my Dad battled to keep going for the past two years. It was an unbelievable journey for him. Most of us would not have had the willpower or the perseverance to push forward to keep on living like he did.
In the end, my Dad was surrounded by my Mom, brother, sister, and my husband. We were all able to say our heartfelt goodbye’s to him, including all of the grandchildren. I will never forget the feeling walking out of the hospital, with my heart aching, holding my sister’s hand. You are forever in our hearts Dad.
My Dad’s baby picture. He’s ever so handsome.
This Father’s Day our family is a little scattered. My parents are visiting family in Illinois, and Travel Man just got on a plane for Philadelphia. So today we won’t be having the usual family get together, and that’s ok. Times change, everyone is on the go, and life rolls on.
However, today I wanted to send some love out to my Dad, and share a few insights with you. I was going to write a post about “Dadisms”, and make a list of things that I could remember my Dad saying growing up. But my list became very short because there are only two meaningful “Dadisms” that will always bring my Dad to mind.
The first one was “It’s natural to be nervous”. Remember those times when you had to make a speech in front of the class at school, or you were about to do something that took you totally out of your comfort zone? That’s when my Dad would chime in, in his calm and caring voice, “It’s natural to be nervous”. Those simple words would put my mind at ease, and I knew everything would be ok.
The second “Dadism” which was an endless source of entertainment for us was a famous Rodney Dangerfield line, “I get no respect.” My Dad used this line over and over when we were in our twenties. We would gang up on him with smart alack remarks and sarcasm, especially at the family parties. Eventually at some point during our get together we’d heard my Dad saying, “I get no respect around here.”
My Dad, he’s the family CEO, the rock of Gibraltar, and the calm in the storm. There are so many things he’s done for our family I could be here all day making a list. For me, I just want him to know how big an influence he has been in all our lives. My greatest wish is for my own sons is to be as fine a man as my Dad.